MPs with disability demand five per cent of nomination slots and Sh 300 million kitty

Kenya: The controversy surrounding the two-thirds gender rule has taken a new twist, following fresh demands by legislators with disability, to be guaranteed five per cent of nomination slots.

The Kenya Disability Parliamentarian Association, a caucus that brings together lawmakers from the Senate and the National Assembly, Friday also demanded a special kitty of Sh30 million to facilitate their legislative work.

Led by the forum's officials Isaac Mwaura (chairman), Janet Teiya (Vice chairperson), Bishop Robert Mutemi (Secretary) and Senator Godliver Omondi (Treasurer), the legislators claimed they were being discriminated against and their plight not considered in the affirmative action debate.

"Before the August 27th deadline, our representation must duly be defined in law. Parliament is mandated to enact a law that will promote the representation of women, youth and persons with disability," he said.
Mwaura emphasised, "In the gender top up, we must get five percent, which translates to 22 nomination slots for both men and women of the 290 constituencies. If we remain with present number of 12 nomination slots, four must be set aside for women and men with disability and another four for the youth and marginalized communities."
Mwaura now wants Parliament to come up with a special mechanism on how to address their concerns, saying "we are suffering from systemic ignorance in society."

"As nominated leaders, we face a lot of hurdle in seeking direct elective posts and this is why the framers of the constitution had this in mind and anchored in law to ensure the rights of the minority are respected," he noted.

Senator Omondi, Mutemi and Teiya also stressed on the nomination slots, and challenged their colleagues to appreciate their role.

"The constitution must be implemented to the letter. In meeting the gender rule, the slots set aside for leaders with disability must be clearly defined and not only left to political parties to determine," urged Omondi.
Bishop Mutemi added, "The law is trying to address historical gaps where persons with disability have continued to be ignored and forgotten in leadership positions."

Mutemi said in obliging to the gender rule, "Any law that has no regard to issues disability must be reviewed."